APPLIQUE    –    To sew one piece of fabric to a background fabric and fasten it in place with a hemming stitch or embroidery stitches. 

The applique can be seen here in the background.

BACKING   –   Fabric that is used for the bottom or under layer of a quilt or patchwork article. 

BASTE     –     Large running stitches done by hand that are used to hold layers or pieces of fabric together temporarily. 

BATTING     –    The layer of padding between the top and back of a quilt. It can be made of polyester, cotton, wool, bamboo or a mix of natural fibres and polyester. Sew in or fusible. 

BIAS     –    The direction of fabric that is at a 45 degree angle to the straight grain. Fabric cut on the bias has more stretch than fabric cut on the straight grain. 

BINDING    –    Separate piece of fabric used to cover the outer raw edge of a quilt. 

BLOCKS    –    A patchwork design made up of pieces, can be square, rectangle or other shape. A block is the basic unit from which patchwork articles are constructed. Example: 

Examples of blocks

BORDER    –    The last strip of fabric added around a quilt top.  This forms a frame. Borders can be pieced or plain and there can be multiples of them. 

– 2 borders one pieced and one plain. 

BUTTED SEAM    –   Where 2 seams meet. It is best if they are butted up together with the seam allowances going in opposite directions.  

Where more than 2 seams cross, the seam is not sewn through the seam allowance but stopped ¼” or seam allowance away from the end, then all seams are pressed in a rotating manner. 

CROSS CUT   –    This is where you take cut strips and turn them to cut at a 90 degree angle. 

CUTTING TEMPLATE    –    This is the name given to the template that has had seam allowance added to it. It is this template that is used to mark the fabric for cutting.  

DESIGN     –     A drawing which gives an idea of what the finished article will look like. 

FAT 1/4     –    This is the term given to a piece of fabric that is ½ of a metre by ½ the width of the fabric (approximately 50cm x 53cm) 

FAT 1/8th      –    This is the term given to a piece of fabric that is ¼ of a metre by ½ the width of the fabric (approximately 25cm x 53cm) 

FAT 1/16th      –    This is the term given to a piece of fabric that is 1/8th of a metre by ½ the width of the fabric (approximately 12.5cm x 53cm) 

GRAIN    –    The direction of which the woven threads of the fabric lie. Lengthwise and crosswise threads are straight grain.   


GRAINLINE    –   This is the name given to the line on your template which tells you which way the template is to be placed on the fabric. 

LOFT    –    The thickness or springiness of the batting. 

MARKING TEMPLATE    –    This is the name given to the template after it is traced from your drawing before the seam allowance is added. It is this template that is used to mark the stitching line on the fabric.  

MAT    –    Cutting mat used especially with the rotary cutter to protect the blade and the table. 

Shape MITRE    –    To join corners at a 45 degree angle. 

OUTLINE QUILTING    –    This is quilting done to highlight a design in a quilt. Either, where there is a change of colour or around the outside of and appliqué. 

PIECING    –    The process in which pieces of fabric are joined to make a patchwork design. 

PIECING ORDER    –    The order in which pieces of a fabric are joined for a block. 

QUILT    –    A bedcover or wall hanging made from patchwork. 

QUILTING    –    Stitching that is used to hold your quilt layers together permanently. This can be done by hand or machine.  See also Outline Quilting and Stippling. 

QUILTING HOOP OR FRAME    –    This is used to hold the quilt as it is hand stitched in the quilting process. 

QUILT TOP    –    The top layer of a quilt, the pieced or patchwork section. 

ROTARY CUTTER    –    A circular bladed knife that allows you to cut smooth edges on multiple layers of fabric quickly and easily. 

SAND PAPER BOARD  –  This is simply a piece of sandpaper glued to a piece of cardboard, used when drawing stitching or guide lines onto cut pieces of fabric. Place the fabric right side down on the sand paper and draw your line.  

SCALED PLAN    –    Finished design drawn to a reduced size. Usually on graph paper and 10% of the finished size. 

SET    –    The way blocks are positioned in a quilt. 

SPRAY STARCH  –  This is the same spray starch on you would use on your clothing. It is used in patchwork when the fabric is light or loosely woven to give it a bit more stability. 

STIPPLE QUILTING   –   Free hand quilting, usually used in backgrounds or to fill in spaces.  Can be done with small wriggly shapes called stippling or larger wriggly shapes called meandering. The wriggles do not overlap each other, they form more like interlocking jigsaw pieces. 

STRIPS    –    These are pieces of fabric that are cut across the full width of the fabric from selvedge to selvedge. 

TEMPLATE    –    The pattern used for marking stitching and cutting lines onto the fabric. 

TEMPLATE PLASTIC     –     Sheer to semi sheer plastic, sometimes plain other times grided, used to trace template pieces from your drawings to transfer to your fabric. 

TRAMLINES    –     Strips of plain or pieced fabric that divides the blocks in a quilt.  Also known as LATTICE OR SASHING. 

STAY STITCHING    –    This is a row if stitching added to a piece of fabric to help stop it from stretching, in patchwork this is usually done on the bias edge of a patch that is going to end up on the outer edge of a block to help keep the block square. 

UNITS    –    The smaller pieces of a block before it is assembled.